Enlightenment Philosophers


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Enlightenment Philosophers

  1. 1. ENLIGHTENMENT PERIOD17th and 18th Centuries
  2. 2. WHAT WAS IT? Less a set of ideas than it was a set of attitudes At its core was:  Criticism  A questioning of traditional institutions, customs and morals Viewpoint summed up by Jean-Jacques Rousseau in The Social Contract:  “Man is born free and everywhere he is in chains” Most popular thinkers were those who could simplify and publicise new viewpoints
  3. 3. CHARACTERISTICS OFENLIGHTENMENT Everything had a cause and effect Rationalism – truth can be arrived at solely by reason, or rational, logical thinking Reasoning to Solve Social Problems Questioning of established ideas Did not attack religion, but superstition Disliked Absolute Monarchy aka – Age of Reason
  4. 4. IMMANUEL KANT Read Kant’s What is Enlightenment from 1784 and answer the following questions. Where does freedom come from according to Kant? ... Limit religion Encourage own intelligence Have the courage to use one’s own intelligence
  6. 6. PHILOSOPHERS Published work in books, plays, pamphlets, newspapers, and “encyclopedias” At this time (1700s), the educated wrote in French Writings criticized the church, government, slave trade, torture, taxes, and war Wrote in a questioning style
  7. 7. DEFINITION BY AN ENEMY Just what is a philosophe? A kind of monster in society who feels under no obligation towards its manners and morals, its properties, its politics, or its religion. One may expect anything from men of their ilk.
  8. 8. PHILOSOPHERS Thomas Hobbes - England People enter into a social contract in which they exchange freedom and rights for security and order A strong government was necessary to protect people from themselves
  9. 9. THOMAS HOBBES Published the Leviathan  In the beginning, people lived in anarchy  Life is violent and dangerous  People choose a leader to rule them  People give Monarch absolute power  A social contract creates stability  People only have the right to protect themselves Hobbes preferred Absolute Rule
  10. 10. Famous Hobbes Quotes “During the time men live without a common power to keep them all in awe, they are in that conditions called war; and such a war, as if of every man, against every man.” “It is not wisdom but Authority that makes a law.” “The obligation of subjects to the sovereign is understood to last as long, and no longer, than the power lasteth by which he is able to protect them.” “The Papacy is not other than the Ghost of the deceased Roman Empire, sitting crowned upon the grave thereof.”
  11. 11. PHILOSOPHERS John Locke - England People are reasonable by nature and they have natural rights Life, liberty, and property Government should protect those rights Government power comes from the consent of the people
  12. 12. JOHN LOCKE Published Two Treatises of Government People have made a social contract But have kept:  The right to live  The right to enjoy liberty  The right to own property Rulers must preserve these rights  If not, people have the right to overthrow such ruler and replace him for breaking the social contract Locke’s preferred Government is a consensual government between the people and their ruler  Democracy or a Constitutional Government
  13. 13. Famous Locke Quotes “All mankind... being all equal and independent, no one ought to harm another in his life, health, liberty or possessions.” “Every man has a property in his own person. This nobody has a right to, but himself.” “Government has no other end, but the preservation of property.” “Our incomes are like our shoes; if too small, they gall and pinch us; but if too large, they cause us to stumble and to trip.”
  14. 14. BARON DE MONTESQUIEU Political liberty could best be preserved through the separation of powers among branches of government A system of Checks and Balances is needed Published The Spirit of the Laws Promoted separation of powers Legislative – makes the laws Executive – administers the laws Judicial – interprets and applies the laws These powers should check each other Will later influence the U.S. Constitution
  15. 15.  Montesquieu He preferred Non- Absolute rule  Constitutional Government
  17. 17. Famous Montesquieu Quotes “Countries are well cultivated, not as they are fertile, but as they are free.” “If we only wanted to be happy, it would be easy; but we want to be happier than other people, and that is almost always difficult, since we think them happier than they are.” “To become truly great, one has to stand with people, not above them.” “There is no nation so powerful, as the one that obeys its laws not from principals of fear or reason, but from passion.”
  18. 18. VOLTAIRE French Philosopher Supported natural rights but felt that few people really had the ability to rule  freedom of religion and freedom of speech  Tolerance of other’s religious views and viewpoints Wit had him exiled from France Used his intellect to criticize the French government and the Catholic Church for their failure to permit religious toleration and intellectual freedom. Published novel Candide Also wrote Letters on the English and Elements of the Philosophy of Newton Ridicules oppressive government, prejudice, and bigotry Later fought in cases of injustice, particularly against religious prejudice
  19. 19. Voltaire Believes in Absolute Rule if the ruler is:  Enlightened  Supports human rights
  21. 21. Famous Voltaire Quotes “All murderers are punished unless they kill in large numbers and to the sound of trumpets.” “Common sense is not so common.” “I do not agree with what you have to say, but Ill defend to the death your right to say it.” “It is dangerous to be right in matters on which the established authorities are wrong.” “Judge a man by his questions rather than his answers.” “The art of government is to make two-thirds of a nation pay all it possibly can pay for the benefit of the other third.”
  22. 22. JEAN-JACQUES ROUSSEAU Believed in Direct Democracy  butpeople should give up some of their freedom for the common good  all people are born equal Published The Social Contract “People are born good, but environment, education, and laws corrupt them” “Free and good people will only remain if governed by popular sovereignty” People can choose what government to live under MAJOR influence on American and French Revolutions
  23. 23.  Rousseau Supports a democratic government Government derives its authority from the consent of the people Governed through a contract Government represents the people
  25. 25. Famous Rousseau Quotes “Every man has a right to risk his own life for the preservation of it.” “Free people, remember this maxim: we may acquire liberty, but it is never recovered if it is once lost.” “Man is born free, and everywhere he is in shackles.” “People who know little are usually great talkers, while men who know much say little.”
  26. 26. FEMALE CONTRIBUTIONS TO THEENLIGHTENMENT In Paris and other places in  The middle-class women France, wealthy women held such as Madame de Geoffrin salons {informal gatherings} start to have salons. where writers, musicians,  Voltaire and leading painters, and, philosophes philosophes gathered at presented their works and Madame de Geoffrin’s salon exchange ideas. at least once a week. Salons originated in the  Through their salons women 1600s when women started helped shape the inviting a few friends to Enlightenment. poetry readings.  Emilie du Chatelet became a People who were considered noted physicist and witty, intelligent, and well- mathematician and read were invited to the translated Newton’s work Enlightenment. from Latin into French.
  27. 27. POLITICAL CRITICISM Politicaland Social Institutions should be changed to benefit everyone instead of just certain groups Popular Sovereignty – laws and government created by and subject to the will of the people Enlightened Despots – some Monarchs began to adopt Enlightenment philosophies and ruled with the respect of subject’s rights  Maria Teresa and her son Joseph II of Austria  Catherine II of Russia  Frederick II of Prussia
  28. 28. IMPACTS ON FUTURE The ideas proposed by the Enlightenment thinkers had a great impact throughout Europe in the 1700s. Greater numbers of people began to question established beliefs and customs. This affected leaders and their development Philosophers promoted nationalism and individual rights Revolutions were inspired by nationalistic ideas growing out of the Enlightenment  British Colonial America  France  Haiti